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Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 12/11/2011

‘New Year’s Eve’ is the No. 1 movie in America. Yes, really.


Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” ... uh, I mean “New Year’s Eve.” (Andrew Schwartz - Warner Bros.)

You read the bad reviews. You saw how weighed down with plotlines and movie stars it was. And you went to see “New Year’s Eve” anyway.

The holiday-focused romance rose to the top of the box office over the weekend, earning $13.7 million. The bad news: hardworking people voluntarily parted with their money to see a film that was nearly universally panned. The good news: that $13.7 million is a decidedly modest total and a tiny fraction of what “Valentine’s Day” earned when it opened on the perfectly timed Feb. 12, 2010 — $56.2 million, which led to a total gross of $110.4 million in North American theaters. If business for “New Year’s Eve” does not increase as we scoot closer to Dec. 31, we may all be saved from the inevitable, delightfully eco-conscious ensemble rom-com, “Arbor Day.”

In other box office news...

— Jonah Hill’s “The Sitter” came in second place with an equally modest intake of $10 million. According to Box Office Mojo data, that’s Hill’s lowest wide-release opening for a movie in which he plays a key role. And for those of you who keep close tabs on babysitting-oriented films, that opening is also lower than the one for “Adventures in Babysitting,” which made $14.6 million in its first weekend when figures are adjusted for inflation, and “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead,” which earned an inflation-adjusted $12 million when it opened in June of 1991.

— “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” finally fell out of the top spot and landed at No. 3 with $7.9 million. The Bella-gives-birth-and-causes-seizures blockbuster has amassed $259.5 million in North American theaters, making it the year’s third-highest-grossing film, right behind “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” ($352.3 million) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” ($381 million).

— Two films opened strong in a small number of theaters. “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” made $301,000 on only four screens, yielding a per-screen average of $75,250 while Charlize Theron’s “Young Adult” brought in $320,000 on eight screens, for a per-screen average of $40,000. ”Young Adult” opens wide next weekend, and “Tinker, Tailor” adds more screens then, too.

Here are the top five movies of the weekend followed by the weekly box office prediction poll. Can “New Year’s Eve” remain at No. 1, or will “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” bump it out of there?

Top five movies at the box office:

1. “New Year’s Eve” — $13.7 million

2. “The Sitter” — $10 million

3. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” — $7.9 million

4. “The Muppets” — $7 million

5. “Arthur Christmas” — $6.6 million

Make your box office prediction here:

By  |  03:50 PM ET, 12/11/2011

Categories:  Box Office, Movies

 
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